OK, I’ve kept you in suspense long enough. What’s “on the button”?
To be truly competitive and to perform well, you must feel CHALLENGED! It’s that “I-can’t-wait-to-play” attitude that all elite athletes have. It’s not cockiness, it’s not defiance, it’s not overbearing but it is calmness. It is trust in your skill set and that of your teammates. It is tunnel vision. It is “the zone”. You can be challenged without being successful on the scoreboard. But it is not trying to do your best. That’s an outcome that results frequently in choking. It’s the knowledge that if you don’t succeed on the scoreboard, your opponent had to bring his/her “A” game to the ice to win. It took everything they had. They were forced to drain their tank.
When you lose, make sure it was for the right reason(s) and of course, don't lose the lesson!